This week the Graham-Cassidy bill made waves in Congress as the GOP's latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Senator Cassidy (R-LA), a namesake of the bill, is among a unique crowd of lawmakers in Congress with a professional background in the medical industry. As the health care debate grows more and more complicated, we identified the lawmakers in Congress with career experience in the medical industry and diagnosed how they've contributed to the health care conversation.
Of the 28 medical professionals in Congress, 13 are physicians, 4 are dentists, 3 are veterinarians, 3 are psychologists, 2 are nurses, 1 is an optometrist, 1 is a physician assistant, and 1 is a pharmacist. 21 of the medical professionals in Congress are Republicans and 7 are Democrats.
Over the past nine months, Senator Paul (R-KY) has mentioned health care or health insurance 145 times, Senator Duckworth (D-IL) 126 times, and Rep. Wenstrup (R-OH-2) 119 times.
So far this session, Senator Cassidy (R-LA), Rep. Burgess (R-TX-26), and Rep. Roe (R-TN_1) have each introduced 11 health-related bills. When compared to how vocal they are on the issue, both Burgess and Roe fall in the middle of the pack of medical professionals. Conversely, Senator Duckworth is very vocal on the issue but has yet to introduce a health-related bill this session.
The average member of Congress won their last election with 65% of the vote. However, medical professionals in Congress won their last election with an average of 71% of the vote. These members also represent heavily partisan districts with an average Cook PVI Rating of +16 partisan lean.